Twitter agrees to be bought by Elon Musk

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday agreed to be acquired for around $44 billion in cash by Elon Musk, just weeks after the tech mogul launched his unsolicited, take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Why it matters: This is an earthquake in global media and politics, where Twitter hosts the discourse.

  • It’s sure to be criticized by those who disagree with Musk’s laissez-faire views on content moderation and cheered by those who believe Twitter has been too heavy-handed with its block button.

By the numbers: Musk is paying $54.20 per share and is personally responsible for around half of the financing. The rest comes via loans from, or arranged by, Morgan Stanley. No word yet on if he’s managed to secure equity partners.

Big question: Who will run Twitter under Musk? His original offer letter included criticism of current company management, so it’s unlikely that Parag Agrawal will remain CEO. At the same time, Musk is already running multiple companies, and it’s almost impossible to imagine him adding another.

What they’re saying: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a press release. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

  • Agrawal is also quoted in the release, with no mention of his future.

Calendar: Twitter is set to release earnings before the bell on Thursday, and now says there will not be a corresponding conference call.

  • Expect that we’ll soon learn more about the transaction, including termination fees were either side to walk away before it closes.
  • The company also has scheduled an all-hands employee meeting for later this afternoon.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story and has been updated throughout.

(source)

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